Extreme Temperature Diary- Sunday October 2nd, 2022/Main Topic: Brazil 2022…The Most Important Election of the 21st Century?

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Brazil 2022…The Most Important Election of the 21st Century?

Dear Diary. An extremely, almost direly, important election is occurring this year, and no I’m not writing about the U.S. November midterms. Over the last few years, I’ve often railed against authoritarian President Jair Bolsonaro. His policies have allowed loggers and those clearing land for other purposes such as beef production to greatly diminish, if not destroy the Amazon Rainforest, the so-called lungs of the Earth. Should Bolsonaro get another term, undoubtedly more Amazonian destruction will occur, perhaps so much so that the rainforest could become a net emitter of carbon instead of a carbon sync, if that hasn’t happened already.

You and I have no control over what happens in Brazil today, which is when the election will occur. We can only pray and see what transpires. Here are more details from climate change news:

The fate of the Amazon rests on the outcome of Brazil’s election

Published on 27/09/2022, 11:12am

Comment: Jair Bolsonaro dismantled social and environmental protections. Brazil’s next president must combat illegal activity and restore safeguards

Children play in the northern Amazon rainforest (Pic: N Mazars/EU/Flickr)

By Adriana Ramos

Jair Bolsonaro’s reign as Brazil’s president has seen the greatest reversal of social and environmental protections in our nation’s history.

Since coming to power January 2019, Bolsonaro has led an onslaught against the government agencies and legal frameworks designed to protect forests and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, dragging Brazil back to the wild west days we thought we’d left behind more than two decades ago.

The cost can be measured in environmental destruction and human suffering.

Deforestation in the Amazon has risen more than 50% during his presidency. Violent land conflicts and illegal invasions of Indigenous territories and other protected areas have surged. And a record number of Indigenous People have been murdered.

It’s no exaggeration then, to say that the Amazon’s fate rests on the outcome of our election on 2 October. If Bolsonaro wins another term in office the world’s biggest rainforest could pass its tipping point.

If he loses, we have the chance to bring it – and Brazil – back from the brink.

Reviving Mercosur

Bolsonaro lags in the polls behind his main rival, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. If – as looks likely – Lula is declared president, his government will face a flood of challenges.

Reviving the trade deal that the European Union (EU) struck with the Mercosur bloc of nations – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – in 2019, is among them. The deal has potentially negative consequences for Indigenous Peoples’ rights, as well as deforestation in the Amazon, the Cerrado and our other precious biomes.

The trade deal that the EU agreed after 20 years of negotiations would cut tariffs worth billions of euros a year on goods imported into the EU from Brazil and other Mercosur nations. It stalled in 2020 however, partly over concerns it would intensify land seizures and environmental damage from producing more soy and beef. The EU proposed a side letter to the agreement with environmental guarantees but hasn’t drafted it yet.

Lula has indicated that he wants to reopen talks on the deal, building in more climate, environmental and human rights protections. He also wants concessions from the EU on promoting the development of Brazilian industry. This could appease the industrial workers who are his historical support base. Along with many civil society groups, they have long opposed the EU-Mercosur trade deal.

The new administration must consult Brazil’s grassroots movements and civil society on the deal. Until now, the EU has paid these groups insufficient attention, despite them proving to be such an important pillar of democracy – and a bulwark against its erosion – over the past few years. Their well-founded environmental and social concerns about the deal must be addressed through concrete actions.

Dismantling Bolsonarism

The most pressing issue for us is to combat the illegal activity that Bolsonaro allowed to flourish. Under his watch, criminal gangs had a free rein to maraud the Amazon: for mining, fishing, drug trafficking and other nefarious activities.

Those perceived as obstacles to their activities – including Bruno Pereira, Dom Phillips and numerous Indigenous People, such as the forest protector Paulo Paulino Guajajara – paid the ultimate price.

Criminals operate largely with the support of corrupt local authorities. There are now 10,000 kilometres of illegal roads in the Amazon, and guns and violence have proliferated.

Those whose criminal activities have thrived under Bolsonaro are not going to simply stop because there’s a new government in place. What’s more, even if Bolsonaro accepts defeat, he will still have two or three months in office before he hands over power – enough time to wreak more havoc. This could include pushing through a number of damaging bills – including one related to using Indigenous territories for mining, one weakening the environmental licensing regulation and a land grabbing bill – all of which will increase the threat of deforestation in the Amazon, and turn currently illegal activities into legal ones.

In short, the current regime will still have a lot of power, both with their guns on the ground and in Congress.

Despite all this, in Brazilian civil society there is a feeling of hope and pride.

Hope for the democratic future of our country. Pride because Bolsonaro wasn’t able to achieve half of what he wanted, largely due to the resistance and strength of civil society activists and others.

Read more on: Climate politics | Comment | Comment | Forests | Land | South America | Brazil

Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:

Here is some September 2022 climatology:

Here is more news and notes on Hurricane Ian (latest news will be posted at the top of this list, which I will frequently update as Sunday rolls along):

Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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